There are 13 recorded species of bats in the Ohio area. The little brown bat is the most common species in this area. Its fur is uniformly dark brown on the upper parts with a slightly grayish underneath. The wing membranes are dark brown. Little brown bats are 2 ½ – 4 ½ inches long and weigh approximately 7-9 grams. The total wing span of the little brown bat is 8 ½ – 10 ½ inches wide. The Big Brown Bat is the second most abundant bat species in Ohio. As with the little brown bat, the big brown bats name is highly descriptive. Its fur is uniformly medium-dark brown on the upper parts and slightly paler underneath. The fur is long and silky in appearance and the ear and wing membranes are dark brown. The big brown bat is between 3 ½ – 5 ½ inches long and weighs approximately 12 – 25 grams. Big brown bats have a wing span of 11 -13 inches wide. Bats in flight appear much larger than resting ones. Bats are not blind, however, the eyes of bats that eat insects are inconspicuous. Bats are known to have a life span of up to 25 years or more. The big and little brown bat species hibernate each year. Hibernation usually starts in mid-October and continues through March in the Cincinnati area. Temperatures can affect the habits of bats. Bats may become active during the winter months if several continuous warm days and nights occur and will sometimes appear in living spaces and basements of homes.
The little brown bat and the big brown bat female colonies will begin to form in April. They will dwell in buildings such as attics, soffits, behind brick veneer and shutters, or other man-made structures. Some will roost in tree cavities and under peeling bark of trees. The male bats may live solitaire or live in small clusters.
The little brown bat and the big brown bats are both insectivores. The eat 50% – 100% of their body weight each night during summer. Bats enjoy a variety of insects such as mosquitoes, beetles, moths, stick bugs, and more. Insects are the primary food source for bats. Bats scoop up their victims in their wing and tail membranes before transferring them to their mouth. The little brown bat chews very fast and can catch and eat up to 10 insects per minute.
Bats breed in the late summer during a behavioral phenomenon known as “swarming”. Sperm is transferred to the females at this time. Ovulation and fertilization of the eggs are delayed until the females come out of hibernation in the following spring. Female bats form maternity colonies typically in man-made structures such as barns, other out buildings and our homes. The average colony size is 25- 100 bats, but could be more. Big brown bats will avoid roosting in higher temperatures where the little brown bats can tolerate the heat. Bats will abandon any area that gets over 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The little brown bat gives birth to a single baby per year. The gestation period is 50 -60 days. Baby bats grow fast and are able to fly within 3 -4 weeks of age. Bats will then begin to leave the nursery with other female bats in search of insects to build up their reserves for the next hibernation period.
Bats are a potential carrier of rabies, usually transmitted via the bite of an infected animal, caution should be taken if bats are seen during the day or on the ground incapable of flying. Contact your physician if scratched or bit. Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms occur. Bats may be a host for mites, ticks, fleas, the bat bug and bat ectoparasites. Bat droppings known as guano tend to be segmented, elongated, dark brown in color, easily crumbled and with age turn to a powdery dust. Disease such as histoplasmosis or salmonella can be inhaled while disturbing/cleaning up droppings. Extreme care should be taken, airborne disease can also be disbursed by wind or ventilation within the home.
If you have had 2 or more encounters with bats appearing inside you home within 1 year you should contact a professional for an inspection. The most successful method to rid your home or structure of bats is a very tedious and time-consuming process. Bats will enter structures through very small openings/gaps ¼ x 1 ½ inch or a hole 5/8 x 7/8 inches. A one-way valve/netting must be installed over all active openings/gaps, prior to that all other openings/gaps must be sealed to prevent re-entry to structure. After bats have vacated the structure the points of entry must be sealed. Asap Critter People use a combination of materials to seal up a structure, as this the most important part for a successful eviction/exclusion. Our materials include premium grade sealants, back rod, hardware cloth, custom gable vent guards, chimney guards, colored trim coil, and more. Bats generally don’t leave on their own and noise or odor deterrents have little or no lasting effect. As the ASAP Critter People say…If you want to get rid of your critter problem…you have to get rid of the problem critter. Our professionally trained technicians will evaluate your critter issue and determine the best method of removal to safely and humanely remove your problem critter. Quality repairs are a must to avoid future problems. Repairs and prevention services are an important part of the control methods we offer and back with a warranty. For prompt, professional, and courteous service, call family owned and operated ASAP Critter People at 513-941-0258 today! THE LEADER OF THE PACK!